The New Handbook on the Apostille Convention

Fanny Cornette calls our attention to the new Handbook on the Apostille Convention published by the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

I would like to introduce the new Handbook prepared by the Permanent Bureau of The Hague Conference of Private International Law concerning the Apostille Convention.

According to the Conclusions and Recommendations of the 2009 Special Commission of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the Permanent Bureau was encouraged to publish a practical Handbook concerning the Apostille Convention. Prior to this Handbook, the Permanent Bureau had already published two brochures.

The first one was “The ABCs of Apostilles (FAQs),” which provided practical answers to the fourteen most frequently asked questions. This brochure enabled anyone to understand how the Apostille system works.

The second brochure was a Brief Implementation Guide, which gave information to the relevant authorities of the states interested in joining the Apostille system.

The new Apostille Handbook is the latest and most complete one. Unlike the Service Convention Handbook, which must be purchased, the Apostille Handbook can be freely downloaded directly from the HCCH Website.

The Handbook is divided into six parts and five annexes:

I. About the Apostille Convention
II. Competent Authorities
III. Applicability of the Apostille Convention
IV. The Apostille process in the State of origin: request—verification—issuance—registration
V. Acceptance and rejection of Apostilles in a State of destination
VI. The e-APP

Annex I. Text of the Apostille Convention
Annex II. Flowchart on the accession procedure
Annex III. Model Apostille Request Form
Annex IV. Flowchart on requesting, issuing and registering Apostilles
Annex V. Notice for newly acceding States wishing to inform relevant authorities and the general public of the upcoming entry into force of the Convention

The Handbook will be a useful tool for all the national competent authorities but also for practitioners and researchers.

To conclude, just a few word to welcome the new Secretary General Christophe Bernasconi of The Hague Conference on Private International law, who assume the post since the 1st of July 2013. See his welcome note on the website of The Hague Conference.

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